YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — J'Bore Gibbs threw for a touchdown and ran for two more and South Dakota State beat Youngstown State 38-28 on Saturday night in a battle between two of the top teams in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Gibbs completed 14 of 26 passes for 210 yards and had 12 carries for 75 yards for South Dakota State, which went into the game ranked No. 3 in the FCS Coaches poll.
Nathan Mays hit Joe Alessi for a 45-yard touchdown to give No. 17 Youngstown State (4-2, 0-2 Missouri Valley Conference) a 21-9 lead midway through the third quarter but the Jackrabbits answered with a 13-play, 75-yard drive capped by Gibbs' 2-yard TD run. South Dakota State forced the Penguins to punt on their next possession then Gibbs connected with Cade Johnson on an 81-yard touchdown catch-and-run. Johnson, on a reverse-pass, found Blake Kunz in the end zone for the 2-point conversion to give the Jackrabbits (5-1, 2-0) their first lead at 24-21 early in the fourth quarter.
About a minute later, DyShawn Gales picked off a pass from Mays at the Youngstown State 44 and C.J. Wilson's 13-yard scoring run made it 31-21 with 6:13 to play.
Joe Craycraft replaced Mays, who was limping after taking several hits, including back-to-back sacks. Craycraft hit Miles Joiner for a 17-yard touchdown to trim YSU's deficit to three with 2:54 left but Gibbs responded with a 63-yard TD run to seal it.
Mays was 14-of-24 passing for 176 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions — including a 42-yard pick-6 by Don Gardner early in the second half — and added 13 carries for 58 yards and two scores for Youngstown State.
South Dakota State linebacker Seven Wilson, who collided head-to-head with teammate Christian Rozeboom in the final seconds, was down on the field for several minutes before walking off the field under his own power.